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Trouts Journal

Who’s Fishing This Memorial Day Weekend!?

Ivan Orsic / May 27, 2016

Despite the rivers- or at least certain portions of certain rivers- at higher than normal flows, the fishing nonetheless has remained strong throughout the Front Range and beyond. Here are our thoughts on some good places to get the boots wet this weekend.

Dream Stream/Elevenmile Canyon- As is almost always the case, the South Platte is fishing great- particularly in the upper reaches. The Dream Stream and Elevenmile Canyon are both holding steady at 75cfs and will stay this way for the next few weeks barring any unusually high precipitation. (this info courtesy of one of my sources in the know). I've been spending quite a bit of time in both these locations lately and the dry fly fishing has been quite productive day in and day out. Look for midges and baetis to have the fish looking up for at least a good portion of the day. If you're not seeing fish keyed in on the surface activity, dragging around a couple nymphs is almost guaranteed to produce. With flows as low as they are, finding fish shouldn't be much of a challenge. Focus on the riffles, shelves, drop offs, and gravel bars to be holding feeding fish. The weather forecast looks fairly decent as well with highs in the 60's, not much wind, and a small chance of some afternoon showers. Recommended flies- Dries: Parachute Adams, Purple Haze, Film Critc, CDC Baetis (sz 18 or 20), Griffiths Gnat, Eric's Midge, Sprout Midges (size 18-22), Nymphs: San Juan Worms (brown/wine/red), Pine Squirrel Leeches (black/olive/rust size 12-16) Eggs (yellow/peach), Rainbow Warriors (black/pearl), Copper Johns, Barrs BWO Emerger, Juju Baetis (purple/brown), Buckskins, Jujubee Midges (olive/brown), Pure Midges (red/black), Mayer's Tube Midge (copper/black) size 18-22.

Silverthorne- The Blue through Silverthorne is high right now but running clear. Flows have been holding steady at around 750cfs for the past week and the fish are pushed tight to the bank, behind rocks, and basically any place that will provide a break from the current. We've had quite a few guide trips here lately and every single one of them has produced high numbers of fish. While Dillon Reservoir does have a decent number of mysis shrimp, don't fall victim to thinking this is all the fish want to eat. Some days they're on them. Some days they're not. As is almost always the case with this river (and quite truthfully probably the majority of rivers this weekend)- don't expect to have it to yourself. That said, don't let the crowds deter you. There are a ton of fish in the first mile or two down from the dam and I can guarantee that there will be plenty to go around. The weather forecast is looking favorable as well with highs near 60, a small chance of precip here and there, and light winds. Recommended flies- Mysis shrimp patterns (size 18-20), eggs (peach/pink/pale yellow), San Juan Worms and Flossy Worms (brown/pink/red, Rs2's (black or gray), Rainbow Warriors (pearl), Pure Midges (red/black), Poison Tung (black/blue), Jujubee Midges (olive/brown/chartreuse), Rojo Midges, Tube Midges (copper/black/red), Black Beauties. Keep this last string of nymps in the size 18-22 range.

Frying Pan/Roaring Fork- If you're looking to take a little drive, heading to Basalt is never a bad idea. With both the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork right there, you'll have plenty of water to explore. For the Frying Pan, sticking with mysis shrimp and midge patterns near the Toilet Bowl will likely put a few big fish in the net. If it were me though, I'd be looking a little lower down on the river for fish eating dry flies. The midges and baetis fishing has been pretty reliable lately, particularly during the late morning/early afternoon portions of the day. If you're not seeing them eating dries (which likely won't be the case) nymphing around with small midge and baetis patterns is likely all it will take to put some fish in the net. Additionally, the Frying Pan can be a great place to throw a small/medium sized streamer around so I wouldn't count this bite out either. For the Roaring Fork, sticking to the higher stretches (above the Crystal River) will be your best bet. Visibility is going to vary slightly from day to day, however the fishing has been great. (If you've ever fished the Roaring Fork in the Spring then you already know what I'm talking about!) The forecast for Basalt looks pleasant with highs in the low 70's, light wind, light precip chances. Recommended flies- Frying Pan- Dries: small cdc baetis and midge patterns will be your best bet. Nymphs: Pure Midges (red/black), Bling Midges, Rs2, Foamback Emergers, Biot Midge Emergers, Juju Emergers, Juju Midges, Batwing Emergers (size 18-22) Roaring Fork: Stonebombs, Pats Rubberlegs, 20 inchers, San Juan Worms (red/brown/wine), rs2's, Zebra Midges, Bling Midges, Pheasant Tails, Jujubaetis, WD40's. It's getting closer to caddis season as well so dropping your favorite caddis emerger off the back should also produce. Size 18-22. Streamer fishing on the Roaring Fork can also be quite productive so I wouldn't hesitate to throw your favorite small/medium sized black/olive/natural streamer around as well, particularly during the low light hours.

Taylor- If you're looking to take a little longer drive, the Taylor River has been fishing quite well. The infamous Catch & Release section has been yeilding some very nice fish lately and a recent report I got yesterday from a customer of ours had the pictures to prove it. Some good dry fly fishing is always possible here with small midge and baetis patterns being the go-to. For nymphing, stick with longer leaders, 6x tippet, and as much stealth as you can put into your presentation. Having a good selection of small midge and baetis patterns and rotate patterns untitl you find something the fish are keyed in on. The weather is looking good in the Gunnison Valley as well this weekend with highs in the mid 60's, light winds, and only a small chance of precip. Recommended flies: Parachute Adams/Purple Haze, CDC midge and baetis patterns (size 18-22), Juju Emergers, Juju Midges, Black Beauty, Pure Midges, Midge Larva, Mercury Midges, Rs2's, WD40's, Bling Midges, nonbead Jujubaetis, nonbead/nonflashback pheasant tails- size 18-24.

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